top of page

British Historic Towns Atlas

Atlas Volume V


Published Year:


Wooden Surface

About the Volume

An illustrated atlas of the history of the remarkable city of York was published in 2015, concentrating on the growth and form of the settlement across two thousand years.

Though out of print, the atlas was received with praise and critical acclaim on publication. Edited by Dr Peter Addyman (formerly Director of York Archaeological Trust), the volume was written by a team of experts in the various phases of the development of this important city.

Important since Roman times, the city of York grew to become one of the most prosperous, densely settled and influential cities of England in the medieval period and beyond. The atlas charts the development of the city up to the advent of the railway age.

The atlas text covered:

  • Roman York

  • Anglian and Anglo-Scandinavian York

  • Early and late medieval York

  • York 1530 to c.1700

  • York c.1700 to 1840

  • A summary of York from 1840 to the present day

This Atlas volume incorporates a comprehensive gazetteer which helps explain the origins and development of all principal buildings, streets and features shown on the maps, with a grid-reference for location.

Some 25 or so maps showed the city at various phases in its development, the complex parish boundaries of York, and York in its regional and local settings. The volume also included a specially produced version of the second edition OS one-inch map of York and its surroundings, and modern maps of York in 2015.

At the heart of the atlas is a detailed map of the city at 1:2500 showing all the sites of York's most important buildings and structures on a base map of c.1850, the first time that such a map of the city had been made.

The volume also includes historic and modern aerial photographs of the city centre, and 90 or so illustrations of the main buildings, streetscapes and prominent topographic features of the city.

The maps, text, gazetteer and illustrations are presented in an A3 stiff card binder, a format allowing for maps of different dates to be compared side-by-side.

Why is this volume out of print?

The atlas was first published in December 2015 and despite recieving critical acclaim, it went out of print after May 2022, due to the high costs of reprinting. The Trust is working to raise funds to hopefully be able to reprint this historical important volume once again.



By Steven P. Ashby

"The Atlas will take its place as an essential source of reference for students of the history, geography, and archaeology of York. This is assured not only by the excellent standard of mapping and illustration, but also by the clarity of writing in the accompanying essays… Indeed, the value of this volume is not only as a lasting statement on the historic development of York, but also as a standard against which future atlases and similar projects — whether online or in hard copy — may be judged."

> Read full review from Landscape History (16 May 2017)

By Tim Tatton Brown

"...the fullest and most up-to-date history of this great city and its archaeology, buildings and topography yet produced."

> Read full review from Journal of the British Archaeological Association, (Vol. 169, Issue 1, 2016)

By Justin Colson

"As a concise but comprehensive history, this text will undoubtedly serve as a standard reference work and introduction for many years to come; its balance of scholarly depth and synoptic overview make it particularly suitable for teaching, and use in considering York within comparative urban history."

"...there is no question that the York atlas is a tour de force of scholarship, and is recommended to all urban historians."

> Read full review from Urban History vol 44, 3 (August 2017)

By The Times

Printed on Saturday 10 September, 2016

An article about the York atlas, written by its archaeology correspondent, Norman Hammond, appeared on page 82 of The Times on Saturday 10th September 2016. Mr Hammond talked to Peter Addyman, the volume's editor, and discussed the background to the project and what it revealed about York. The article also described the depiction of York as a 'Northern powerhouse as being 'splendidly documented' in the volume.

Related Resources

Atlas Volume V

The Trust has also produced a historic map of the City of York from Medieval Times to 1850. This map includes an updated history of the city as well as a gazeteer providing brief details of the main features shown on the map. This map is printed and now available for purchase.

Publication Details


Oxbow Books for the Historic Towns & York Archaeological Trusts



Publication Status:

Currently not in print

Please note: The Historic Towns Trust does not currently sell atlases directly. However if they are in print, these editions can be easily obtained from bookshops or online book retailers by quoting the ISBN provided.

Banbury, Caernarvon, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hereford, Nottingham, Reading, Salisbury
Bristol, Cambridge, Coventry, Norwich
The City of London from Prehistoric Times to c.1520
Windsor & Eton
bottom of page